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It's more than the money

"As a teacher I used to tell my students 'take what you get until you get what you want'," recalls Faith St. Catherine who now works as a counselling psychologist at the Women's Resource and outreach Centre (WROC) in Kingston.

Her recollection relates to individuals who are currently in search of jobs and who may find that they are being asked to accept work which pays much less than they are qualified to earn.

Our research findings indicate that it might be better for you to work for less money and remain occupied than to sit at home doing nothing at all.

According to Faith St. Catherine, "working is important for managing stress levels. To be occupied is good for your health. The worse thing is to have time to sit at home and think about all the problems you have. It is better to be occupied, learning and earning.

Research published on the website of the International Labour organisation (ILO) quotes several Finnish and foreign studies which point to the link between unemployment and mental ill health.

According to the ILO report, statistically speaking, somatic diseases, mental health problems, and suicide are more common among the unemployed than in the active labour force. Re-employment often helps improve the mental well-being of unemployed people with disabilities as well as prevent possible deprivation caused by unemployment, the ILO article said.

Faith St. Catherine notes that there are also some practical benefits involved in taking the jobs, which are available, even though this might not be your ideal occupation.

"Sometimes the institution is not the place you want to be, but while there, you will be open to other opportunities and get to meet and interact with people and show them you can work."

A report in the UKs Evening Standard published online at claims that working 'makes us happy , discussing research which indicates that being unemployed could be as dangerous as smoking 400 cigarettes a day.

"Unemployed young adult males are 40 times more likely to commit suicide than their working counterparts and are also more likely to suffer depression," said professor at Cardiff University Mansel Aylward, in the online article.

Counselling psychologist Faith St. Catherine notes that working is better for self esteem and creating networking link. It is better to work for any income, however small, than sitting down and having nothing to do.

She notes that once a worker is occupied and doing a job well it builds self esteem. "There is the satisfaction knowing you can do something well."

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